Monday, March 31, 2008

Cat, Please Exit Bag.

Go here for some Jones family news.

Weekend Recap

Kay and Jerrell came over and we had fajitas from a neighborhood restaurant that I am getting very familiar with. The four of us sat on our kitchen counters and talked about our little sisters' recent weddings and about our own newlywed days, which were spent in close fellowship with each other. We know all each others' business, so we had lots of mistakes, hardships, and funny (now) newlywed stories to either laugh or cringe about. We normally play UNO, but this time we tried out a board game called Whoonu. It was very fun and I happened to win!

I took an aerobics class at my new gym for the first time. I think two of my neighbors were in there, but I wasn't sure. I went home and didn't leave the house for the rest of the day. That was the peak of Jackson's fussiness and flaming behind (which is much better now).

Curtis, Jackson and I had a great day of shopping together. We got some summer clothes for The Mister, who only had one pair of shorts and it's already hot here! I really missed Sunni and Mel while I was in Baby Gap because 9 times out of 10 I am in there with one of them. We got a vacuum but that is not even worthy to be mentioned. Hubs wanted to buy some new clothes for his new job (starts tomorrow!), so we went to Macy's. To pass the time, I wandered through the area where you do the wedding registry and found the Martha Stewart line of kitchen stuff. Uh oh! I accidentally left all my baking pans in the oven drawer in our old house, so I blessed myself with some new Martha pans. I also blessed myself with these Martha melamine mixing bowls. They are giving me much joy. Later that day I made Annalee's meat cupcakes, which were a web sensation earlier this year. Very yummy. After Jackson went to bed I went crazy with the mop, vacuum, and scrubbing bubbles. And you know what? I almost had fun. That is how much I love my new house!

We went to church, went to lunch with my mom at this old hamburger place I enjoyed as a kid but hadn't been to in 15 years, took naps, then dropped off Jackson at his grandparents' house and went to see "Vantage Point." I may blog about our church experience this week. I have lots to say but it is 11:26! Goodnight!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Imaginary Baby Boutique

How many times have you walked into some cute boutique or gift shop and imagined opening up a store of your own? I think about it every time! Here's a fun question for you. If you had your own baby/toddler boutique, what are three things you absolutely love and would be sure to carry?

Three of mine are:
Cool hats for little boys
Pediped shoes
Little Giraffe blankets

Jackson has been so fussy this week that I don't have the guts to leave the house with him right now. I think his molars are making their way in. He cannot stop pooping (which is supposedly a sign of teething) and it is giving him a horrible diaper rash. He looks like a little cowboy with his bow-legged walk. Yesterday when we (it took me AND Curt) changed a particularly bad diaper, he cried, "Sorry! Sorry!" Isn't that heartbreaking? A guy from Sears was at our house installing a dishwasher during Jackson's bath time today. The second Jackson's bottom touched the water he screamed bloody murder. It was so loud and horrid that I felt the need to explain everything to the Sears man. Sorry, sir, my son has had fifteen dirty diapers in the last 48 hours and his little buns are on fire! I gave Jackson a whole banana today in hopes that it would stop him up a little. So far things are better.

Well, I have a long list of things that we need for our house, including a new vacuum since ours sat in two inches of water during the washing machine incident of 2008. Due to Jackson's fussiness, I know that leaving the house will be a huge beating. I just can't pump myself up for it for the sake of a vacuum. But I can get pumped up for imaginary baby boutique shopping! So tell me your three things!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eating My Words

I have to tell you about my new grocery store. There are a few things you need to know about me first. One, I like food. Not a shocker. Two, I'm a gourmet cook at heart who does not actually like to cook. But when I look at a Williams-Sonoma catalog my heart rate increases. Maybe if I had a kitchen stocked with all that cool stuff, my inner chef would surface. Three, I am a very loyal person and I stay true to certain brands and stores for years on end. (Like the Clearsil face wash I've been using since sixth grade.) Now that you know those things, I will proceed.

My mother has been shopping at the same Kroger for more than 20 years. There are some very nice Kroger Signature stores in the area, but hers is not particularly special. It is just a normal grocery store. So since I am loyal to my mom and she is loyal to Kroger, I get two loyalty points for also being a Kroger shopper.

There was a Kroger in the community I just moved from. As far as Krogers go, this one was perhaps the least cherished and cared for by the Kroger Corp. I could have driven up the road 15 minutes to a ridiculously ritzy Tom Thumb in Las Colinas, or to the Minyard's which was a step up from my Kroger, or to the Super Target in Janelle's neighborhood for my grocery needs. But no, I remained a Kroger shopper. I made myself love my Kroger and I devoted myself to being the best Kroger shopper in the neighborhood. In fact, when I swiped my Kroger card, the employees often marveled at how many coupons the coupon generator would award me with and say, "Wow, you shop here a lot!" Yes, yes I do. I proudly shop at this Kroger.

Now there was a lovely Central Market over in Southlake and we had playdates and lunches there about once a month. I know that sounds strange, but they had a full-out restaurant and playground on one side of the store. Sushi and burgers were always on the menu. So good. Every time I went into the Central Market, a piece of me died. My heart longed to shop in such a neat place. I just had to focus on the impracticality of it because while Central Market has interesting food, you can't even buy stuff like toilet paper, diapers, or paper towels there. I'd have to go to Walmart for those things and do you know how I feel about Walmart? NOT LOYAL.

At the end of January we drove down to Houston to see about buying this house. After we had seen it and fallen in love with it, we ran over to the neighborhood grocery store - an H.E.B. - to get me some tea and a pregnancy test. I had been nauseous for a week and thought something unexpected was up. (It wasn't.) I went into the store by myself while Curt waited in the car. When I entered the store, I discovered to the delight of my heart and to the praise of our glorious God that this was an HEB/Central Market hybrid. OH MY WORD. Could there be anything more wonderful in the world of grocery shopping? No, no there couldn't. They had every benefit of a Central Market along with the practical things people really do need. (Let's not pretend we don't need diapers and toilet paper and air freshener and occasionally even a plunger.)

As I walked through the beautiful aisles of my soon-to-be new grocery store, my heart became overwhelmed. I fought back tears the entire time and as I exited the building I could hold them back no longer. I was bawling. Over a grocery store. Curt saw me and immediately thought I was pregnant. He was no doubt freaking out a bit. Somewhere in the snarfling and snorting, he heard "I can't believe I get to shop here...It's just so beautiful...Blah blah blah, whah, whah, whah." Admittedly, it sounds pathetic and ridiculous, but it really did come from a thankful heart.

Today I got to be with a dear friend named Jennifer H. She has been a part of my life for the past 10 years and is just an awesome Titus woman. She is about five years older than me, so I have watched her closely as she's gone through every new stage - college graduation, career, newlywed life, becoming a mom - knowing I would be there before long. The Lord brought her and her husband to College Station when I was in school and we lived a couple streets away from each other. It was so much fun. Now we are living just a couple streets away from each other again! The Lord is so cool!

I told Jen that back in college when a new HEB opened up in College Station, I thought she and her friends were so weird for getting up at 6 a.m. to be there when they opened the doors for the first time. I could not, for the life of me, understand why anyone would get so excited about a grocery store. I mean, come on! (Ha ha!) I did not feel like I could continue in our friendship if I didn't confess my hypocrisy to Jennifer today. It was deeply humbled to confess that I had indeed wept over the splendor of my new HEB. So here I am eating my words. But you know what? They are organic, gourmet, and nicely packaged!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter '08

I know this is very late coming, but Happy Easter everyone! He is risen! What a blessed people we are to have a Savior who would give His own life for us and then be raised again! I'm so thankful to know that He has put everything under His feet - even death.

This was a particularly sweet Easter because, well, every holiday seems to be sweeter with a toddler. I had seen many neat things for Jackson's Easter basket, but I never bought anything because he was always with me. I did spy this really cool pre-made basket with cars and trucks in it. I thought it would be perfect and I planned to go back for it on my next shopping trip. I never mentioned it to Curt, but he saw it a few days later and brought it home. It was a big hit with Jackson.

Curt also bought Jackson a kite and that could be its own post. As we like to say, the kite was a "we" gift more than a "me" gift. Hubs could not, would not wait to fly it at the park. Today was the day. We had a toddler in tow, a very strong and large golden retriever on a leash, and a man who was determined to get his $3 grocery store kite to fly even though he lost a key flight component in the grass. Help me, Jesus. Jackson and I also had a little mishap at the park in which we both ended up with our feet submerged in pond water. I was letting Jackson throw pine cones into the pond and we got a little too close. Oops.

Tonight I attempted to wash my first load of laundry in our new house, but apparently the drain wasn't hooked up right. You know where this is going. Minutes later we had an inch of water covering our whole laundry room, kitchen, and breakfast room. It was threatening to take over the living room, which is currently without any furniture. Curt's new TV (The Precious) and my laptop (Also The Precious) were both sitting on the floor. I am so thankful that we weren't in another room when it happened!

Dramatic stories are always more fun to blog about, but I don't want to misrepresent what's been going on with us. We are doing great. Unpacking was a long process and it's actually not completely done, but almost. This morning was the first morning that I woke up to an orderly kitchen and that was a breath of fresh air. I will have to do a post on my new house later, but OH MY WORD I LOVE IT! And our neighborhood is like a dream. We are beyond blessed. We cannot figure out how we landed here. It was just the Lord!

Here are some pictures from Jackson's third Easter.

My cawrs! Trucks! Fast cawrs! Easter basket.

The Mexican candy that was in the bottom of it. The marshmallows were good, but I'm not sure we can hang with chile flavored lollipops.

Did I mention that the kite was made in the likeness of a falcon?

The Mister enjoying his new tow truck, car, and fork lift.

Jackson got some bunny ears for his noggin...

...and loved them.

The little man actually got to eat his candy this year, unlike last year when he had less teeth and a mean, controlling mommy.

Happiness is eating strawberries for lunch and following them up with Reese's cups - all the while having post-nap bed head.

We got to do our Easter egg hunt in this beautiful yard...

...which happens to belong to these two. Yep, our new town is my old town - Houston!

Another reason why this was a particularly sweet Easter is that this was the first one we've spent at my parents' house in at least five years. We worshipped this morning at HFBC and got to be in the sanctuary one last Sunday before it is completely renovated. That was bittersweet, as was the moment when we picked up Jackson from the nursery and he asked for Ella. *Tear*

I'll leave you with this little nugget of TMI. I am having some kind of allergy attack right now and my throat is itching and burning like crazy. I just want to take a toothbrush and scratch the itch. I know that sounds gross and insane, but I've gotten so desperate before that I've done it. And I learned a very valuable lesson. Never scratch your throat with a toothbrush or you will end up with a nickel-sized ulcer in that very spot. I've never been in so much pain except for February 17, 2006, when I birthed a baby from my loins. Have a good night, y'all, and take your Claritin.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bingo! Correction: McBingo!

*Thank you, Kelly, for helping me soar with the eagle's nest with a better title. You sharpen me.

The morning got off to a very early start. I woke up at 6 and started getting ready. I decided we should get a hotel room for tonight, so I had to get Jackson and I ready to be officially gone. We still needed to clean under the couch cushions (gross!) and do the pantry, so I tried to gently force my husband out of his slumber. He did get up immediately, but apparently he needed to have a 45 minute quiet time (and prayer nap) on this big day, so it was pretty much for naught. I am probably the one who needed an extended quiet time.

The packers showed up with a ginormous 18 wheeler that took up half the street. They came in and got down to business. Our sweet neighbors who have lived in their house for 25 years came over to say goodbye. Then Jackson and I left before I could get emotional about my house being dismantled. I am focusing on the greater glory of my new house!

Then I dropped Jackson off at child care and headed out to find a sophisticated wifi hotspot to do some work (and apparently, personal blogging). So here I am at McDonald's. I have to take some lunch to The Mister before 11, so this works a little better than Starbucks. Plus, their tea isn't that good anyway. I might as well have a sausage biscuit.

I just want y'all to know that there is a large group of senior citizens in the Mickey D's this morning and they are playing Bingo. They're calling out their numbers and all that. Classic. This is the kind of thing I will miss about Irving. Irving rocks it old school.

Spring Cleaning

I don't have much to say except that our house is cleaner than it's ever been, just hours before it will be turned upside down by the packers. Yes, packers. Praise God for packers. They arrive at 8 a.m. We spent the whole day filling garbage bags with junk from our drawers, closets, toy boxes, and underneath the beds. Jackson went to the church day care so we could get everything done. He had a blast and did not want to come home. Ella was there too, so I think that made it extra fun. Janelle and I were able to grab a spontaneous lunch at the Empress Jr. I was amazed by the thoroughness of our conversations. I guess I'm just used to us getting interrupted by the Tods! My BFF's from high school, Jen and Sabrina, came over and brought some take out from Chili's. Jen is having a little baby girl next month, so all we could talk about was childbirth. It was great fun. Well, I actually have to set an alarm tonight instead of waking up to Jackson saying "Mommy! Milk! Cars? Play! Stuck! Down! My Dada!" Good night, peeps.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Human Drama

If you're a fan of the Hands on a Hard Body documentary, you may appreciate me saying that this weekend has been full of human drama. And that's drama like Alabama, not drama like mama.

First of all, little Mr. Coy got to go home from the hospital on Friday! Born at just 23 weeks, his precious life is miracle upon miracle. His due date is not even until March 25 or so, so it is beyond amazing that he is home right now. Praise our glorious God who is capable of anything!

Second, our sweet friend Jane Bridgwater got married last night. If you saw Jane you would probably think she was a fashion model, so I don't need to tell you how unbelievably beautiful she was as a bride. Oh my goodness. Her brother-in-law did the ceremony and the whole thing was very personal and passionate. It was one of the neatest ceremonies I've ever been to.

Third, Curtis is finally home from Honduras. He was the main cause of the human drama. Do I need to get into how ready both Jackson and I were to see him? I didn't think so. During the wedding I received a text message (don't panic, it was on vibrate) from Curt saying they had missed their flight in Miami. I received another message simultaneously from Janelle saying that they were spending the night in the airport. Dang it and bless their hearts. If that wasn't dramatic enough, Mom, Jackson and I were packed and ready to head back home to Irving at some point during the wedding reception. We would get home at 1:00 a.m., but this was necessary since today was going to be our last Sunday at our church. It looked like we wouldn't need to drive after all since Curt probably wouldn't make it home in time for church. DANG IT.

I couldn't get my husband on the phone (he was having lots of human drama at the airline counter), so I called Janelle. She told me that Curt had gotten all the parents of little kids on a red-eye flight last night. He actually had a chance to get on it himself, but he stayed with the rest of the group like a responsible leader. I felt proud of him but I also felt torn because there were lots of people I wanted to hug and say goodbye to at church. Torn might not be the right word. Distressed is more like it. And discombobulated.

Right after I got off the phone, a sweet lady came up to me and said, "Hi, Amanda! How are you? It's good to see you!" Y'all, please feel this deeply with me. All I could get out of my mouth was this: "How are you? How do I know you?" Yes, I did. YES, I DID! As soon as she told me her name I knew who she was, but I am such an idiot! Who says that? Luckily, she had seen me in my distressful phone call with Janelle and she sensed that I wasn't right.

Only five minutes later I was having another conversation when a lady I do know came up to me and said, "Congratulations!" This time? Well, I am not pregnant and I've not won a contest, so all I could think to say was, "What are you congratulating me for?" Yes, I did! When did I lose the simple skill of conversation? Seriously! I did explain to her that when I got my hair cut on Friday, the stylist congratulated me and then asked if I had been nervous at the wedding. It took me a minute, but I realized she had me confused with my sister who had just gotten married. So...just...bless my heart. I will explain the reason for her congratulations on another day, but this is all the drama I can deal with for now.

After that little episode, I tracked down my mom and explained that we needed to leave immediately because I was in no shape to be speaking to anyone. If the Moore's wanted to keep their good name, they needed to escort their daughter home immediately.

From there we went to Pappasito's and picked up some fajitas to go. I went inside, cash in hand, and headed straight for the bar. "Bartender, I've had a rough night, and I need a cherry coke to go." Y'all, she proceeded to accidentally dump a whole entire jar of cherries into my coke and it was so funny! She couldn't even put the lid on it.

When I finally talked to Curt, I found out that the airline had put the whole team up in a hotel. Curt even had his own room, so we were able to talk for a long time and catch each other up on things. We decided that Jackson and I should leave at 6 a.m. and try to make it in time for the contemporary service.

We left long before dawn and arrived just in time at our house. There were two interesting discoveries upon arrival. The grass was about 12 inches high and one of our neighbors had put a rainbow flag on their porch. It was gone by the time church let out, so I don't know if someone hung it there to be mean or if it was supposed to have been there.

It was a great Sunday to end on. We sat on our regular row next to Janelle and Heath, like everything was normal. Since it was Palm Sunday, we got to hear the children and the adult choirs sing as well as Jared and Amber and the worship team. Pastor John invited us on stage and gave Curt a Home Depot gift card and me a Pottery Barn gift card. Nice! At the end of the service we shared communion with our church family for the last time. Curt dropped his wafer on the floor and that may or may not have qualified him as having taken the Lord's Supper in an unworthy manner. If he gets sick or "falls asleep", we'll know why.

Afterward, Curt and I stood in the choir room and people came in to say goodbye and give hugs. When Mrs. Beverly came through the line, I lost it and never got it back. Then it was all of our students. They are such an awesome group. I regret that I won't be here to see them all graduate and go off into the world. Some of my friends from bunco came through next. Those girls have been a blast. Then we said goodbye to Tobey and Cassi and Amber and Titus. It stung my heart to know that I won't see those little boys turn in to big boys. After that, we went to get Jackson in the nursery and I could not hold myself together. Ella and Jackson were playing in their class together. All the main preschool staff was still there and we got to give them hugs. I wish I could have accurately expressed how much we appreciate their ministry to us, but all I could do was cry. I'm tearing up again!

Then we walked home and said goodbye to Pastor Wayne and Mrs. JoAnn as we passed their car. Jackson was all smiles for Mrs. JoAnn. She and Wayne would like us to leave Jackson with them. So then I cried the rest of the way home. I cried for my cute little house that may or may not still be there in a year. We are under contract with the developer but we don't know if he's moving a family into our house or tearing it down. I guess it's good not to know.

Tonight we had our last dinner at Double Dave's. Heath, Janelle and Ella met us there. We had a good time and then we went to their house to visit in peace while the Tods played. I got to see Janelle's Honduras pictures and hear all the crazy stories from the trip. It made me wish I had gone, but then I saw a picture of the toilet they had to use in one particular village and the feeling passed.

Tomorrow Curt and I are going to organize the house and throw away everything that we don't want to take to our new home. Then Tuesday the packers come. Wednesday they load the truck and the Jones family will drive off into the beautiful North Texas sunset.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

El Rodeo and Honduran Beanie Weenie

Hello from Bibby's house! This is my fourth night here in Houston while Curtis Wayne leads a mission team in Honduras. Jackson and I really don't fancy being alone for seven days, so we are just having a ball with his grandparents.

On Saturday we took Jackson to his first Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. You should know that for a native Houstonian, this is a major milestone. I feel a little more complete as a mother. We put Jackson in his boots and Wranglers, and I wore my Justins and old Seven for All Mankind bootcut jeans. (I feel like my day in Wranglers passed around 1996.) Mom and I drove out there to Reliant Stadium, which is clear across town, and marveled at the speed of our travel. Then we got to the Kirby exit and it took one hour before we were in a parking spot. And that parking spot? It was at a storage facility. The enterprising owner, dressed in business attire and closely guarding his decked out Yukon, was there to exchange safe, quality parking spots to anyone who was willing to surrender a twenty dollar bill. There were bicycle rickshaws waiting to transport us 3/4 of a mile to the rodeo gates. We were a little shocked to find out that they weren't included in the price. I was extremely skeptical of this method of transportation, especially since I don't even drive my child to church (1/100 of a mile) without strapping him into his carseat. But it ended up being okay and even a little fun.

When we got to the booth to buy our tickets, a sweet lady passing by gave us her extra ones. We were so shocked! How generous! Mom was so flabbergasted that the lady just grabbed her and gave her a big hug. I think she knew Mom needed to express her thankfulness. It was so sweet. Then we took Jackson in to the livestock show and passed up the very long lines at the petting zoo, pony ride, and photo op with a taxidermied bull, and headed straight for the baby chicks hatching out of their eggs. Hands down, that is my most favorite part. We also enjoyed seeing some baby goats playing around and being really bad in their pen. They were hilarious.

That reminds me of something I have failed to mention on the blog. Did y'all know that I have the honor of having a prize guinea pig named after me? Yes, indeed. In fact, there is also a Beth, Keith, and Melissa in this prize guinea pig family. That was a few years back, so I'm not sure those particular show animals are still with us. They could be in the Heavenly Kingdom by now. Perhaps they are waiting for me in my mansion with my cat of 17 years - Grayson. I'm believing God for that and I'm unashamed. Well, for the cat, not for the guinea pigs. I'm sure they'll want to reside eternally with their breeder.

After having loads of fun in a huge, smelly, crowded exhibition hall, we hunted down the Goode Company BBQ stand. Once a year - only once a year - Goode Company serves up an amazingly flavorful and tender BBQ chicken breast sandwich. His mercies are new every rodeo season. It is out of this world. Pile some pickles and onions on that bad boy and pair it with their outrageous potato salad, and you will never miss the rodeo again. You can beg and plead in the restaurant for this sandwich all year long and they will not have mercy. Get it while you can, people.

We skipped the concert because, hello! My child is two! Instead we went to the kids carnival and rode several rides with Jackson. My sweet boy did not understand the whole concept of waiting in line. That part was kind of a beating, but the rides were really fun. In order to pacify Jackson and comfort ourselves after our ride coupons ran out (and he was screaming uncontrollably), we loaded up with snacks. Popcorn, a caramel apple, lemonade, and a corn dog. Wow. And we had just eaten about an hour before. That is what happens when you spend so much time gazing at heifers. You begin to see yourself as impossibly skinny and in need of fattening up.

Curt called me from Tegucigalpa (try pronoucing that - it can be fun) tonight because there was a recurrence of a Honduran legend that I love to recount. It's kind of like Bigfoot, but it has to do with food. Three words: Honduran beanie weenie.

Every time we have been to Honduras, our group has stayed at the same posada, which is like a bed and breakfast. It is extremely nice and an exceptional place to stay on a mission trip. They even cook American food for you. However, the first time we went they served a dish that I affectionately call Honduran Beanie Weanie. Y'all, I am obviously not a picky eater, but I couldn't go there. It was rice topped with a runny, diluted ketchup concoction and cut up hotdogs. I cannot even describe the smell to you. It reminded me of the time I threw up hot dogs as a kid. It took me years to eat them again. I realize that some of you have probably eaten grub worms or lamb brains while on Mission trips. You are awesome. But Honduran Beanie Weenie. *Shiver*

The next time we went to Honduras, it wasn't served. When we got to the posada each evening I braced myself for the smell. It was never there. It wasn't served the following two years either (this was post-Jackson and I didn't go). I always made a point to ask Curtis or anyone else who stayed at the posada if they'd had H.B.W. I never heard of it again. I thought it might have been a one time thing. Eventually I felt crazy and paranoid for even thinking about it. Was Honduran Beanie Weenie only a dream? A nightmare conceived by my culinary fears and insecurities?

No. It is very real. This was the year. How fitting that it would be served on what may be my husband's last trip to lead there. It touched my heart that Curtis, who called me not even one time on his trip last year, would feel compelled to pick up his international call-enabled phone and let me share the special moment with him. So, Honduran Beanie Weenie, I will forgive you for the end piece of the hot dog being in there. And I will go so far as to thank you for giving me and Hubs such a tender moment while we are so far apart. God bless your sweet, ketchupy self.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

I'm Sorry. I Have to Talk About the Weather.

The last month has been so weird! One day it is freezing cold and the next day - no, that night - we have on the air conditioner. Several days ago it snowed overnight and within 48 hours I had my kid in shorts and flip flops. I also thought it was funny that the snow didn't stick on the ground at my house, but my friend living on the north side of town had several inches of snow to play in the next morning. As a Texan, I'm pretty used to rapidly changing weather, but it has been happening so much! I can't believe we haven't had a tornado yet. A couple of weeks ago, I kid you not, I switched back and forth between the heater and the AC four times in one 24 hour period.

Everyone I know is sick or has just been sick and I don't think this weather is helping things. Do y'all feel the weather change in your sinus cavities? I just sit there having conversations with people while I press down on the bones above my eyebrows and below my eyes. I'm sure they're wondering what in the heck I'm doing. Hi, I'm Amanda! And I do sinus effleurage!

Today the whole playgroup was on their way to meet at The Tubes when we started getting sleet and all kinds of unpleasant precipitation. We didn't think it was very wise for a bunch of moms to be driving around in this stuff, so we all turned back toward home. We found out it was only going to get worse. It was kind of sad since today would have been Jackson's last playdate with the group - as a local, anyway. (I know we will be back to play as often as we can.) Curt and I were also supposed to have a goodbye dinner with some friends tonight, but I don't think it's going to happen. We're going to try to make up for it tomorrow at lunch.

Speaking of tomorrow, Jackson was supposed to have his last day at MDO, but if our school district cancels class because of the snow we're supposedly getting at any minute and all night, that will be cancelled too. Tomorrow afternoon, Jackson and I plan on heading down to my mom's house for a week while Curt leads a mission trip to Honduras. He has to be at the church to get the team on a bus at 3:20 a.m. on Saturday! That is nuts! I think it will let Curt go to bed early if we are out of the house already, so I hope the roads are clear enough for us to go. I realize that many of you drive in blizzards, but homegirl doesn't have any experience driving in snow and ice. I learned to drive in Houston and that is basically the tropics.

I'll move off the oh-so-intriguing topic of weather now.

We're moving. I can't believe that in two weeks I will be living under a different roof. This week has been full of goodbyes. Sunday night was the last date night with our friends. Monday was our last family date in Irving - a tradition Curtis, Jackson and I have really loved. (There was nasty weather, so we skipped out on DoubleDave's and had our date at home.) Tuesday night a bunch of my girlfriends took me out to Mi Cocina, which is a restaurant that you can only enjoy in the Metroplex. I had to say goodbye to "Ernie's Chicken," my favorite dish. I'll miss you, Ernie. Wednesday morning Jackson and I said goodbye to our friend Lauren over pancakes at IHOP. Last night the church had a reception for us after fellowship dinner. It was a really sweet time.

I have been bottling in my emotions and I finally had some tears spring out during the prayer that was prayed over us last night. I told Curt, some of the most painful times in my life have been tearless. And that is so strange to me because I am a crier. I know I will cry when we hop in our truck and the moving vans pull away from our little, old house. Poor Curtis. When we left Houston I was in my car by myself and he didn't have to deal with me while I blubbered. We'll be in one car on that day. Bless his heart.

I'm sorry that my blog is so boring these days. Not that it's ever been exciting. The main point of it really is to chronicle this season so that I can go back one day and remember everything. I feel like my posts were more clever in the past, but as soon as I got my quiet times back under control last May, I lost my edge. Isn't that scary? What does that say about me?

Well, the snow is 11 minutes late. Someone tell it to hurry up because it owes me a playdate with my boy!

P.S. Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is doing a fun little blog carnival about dishes. I got excited because she and I both have Blue Danube. So if you are one to get excited about dishes, go check it out.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Texans, here's some free info for you. You do not have to have your voter registration card to vote. Don't let that keep you from voting. You do need to be registered, but you just need to take your license with you. To make sure you're registered and to find out where to vote, click on the links below. You will enter your driver's license number and DOB and it will give you your precint number.

Am I Registered?

Finding My Polling Place

Please Pray

Will you please lift up Sherry C., a friend of mine from college, today? She is only 7 days post-partum, having had her first baby girl last week. Yesterday Sherry's sister's family found themselves in some kind of awful crisis with their newborn son and they need lots of prayer. Unbelievably, on the same day, Sherry's best friend's family lost their 3-month-old baby daughter completely unexpectedly. My heart is so heavy for all these families. I cannot wrap my mind around having a traumatic crisis over my newborn, losing my child, or watching my sister and my best friend go through these trials simultaneously (while caring for a 7-day-old baby). The fear, despair, and sadness would be overwhelming. Please pray for God to be near to these precious families dealing with devastation. Thank you so much and may God bless you for bearing the burdens of people you do not know personally.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wonderful Weekend

I felt so grateful for the loving, supportive comments you all left on Thursday's post. I was blessed and so blown away. Lisa, I've been thinking non-stop about what you said. Thank you for sharing your story. I did not post it out of utmost respect for you, but it has definitely made an impact on me. May God bless you beyond your wildest imagination and restore the years the locusts have eaten. (Joel 2:25)

On Friday morning we took Jackson to Mother's Day Out and then Curt and I both spent the morning working. We had lunch together at Freebird's (give Him some glory!) and stopped by JD's Chippery for some cookies and a cherry limeade. I've been going there for more than three years and have just now discovered that their cherry limeades are better than Sonic's! I'm amazed! It was a fun Friday date with Hubs.

Friday night we drove out to Highland Village to have a date night with Stephanie and Jeffrey. A very brave girl named Ashley took care of all three of our boys. (Stephanie's sons are elementary age.) They treated us to dinner at Patrizio's and had we had a great time. Afterward we hung out at their house until about 11 p.m. Stephanie gave me many words of wisdom about being a boy mom. I needed some encouragement that day and hung on every word she said.

On the way there and back, we happened to drive by Acute Kids Care and I wished I had known about it last weekend! DFW moms, be sure to check out that link. They have several locations. Janelle had to take Ella on Saturday and she said it was amazing.

We slept until 8:30 and then had a very lazy day. I only left to get McD's for lunch and Curt only left to get some diapers that evening while I got dinner started. Yes, I cooked a real meal! I cooked chicken and then proceeded to disinfect the kitchen three times before I was comfortable with its cleanliness. I seriously have some issues.

I woke up to find that Beckham had gotten into the trash during the night and eaten some raw chicken bits that were in there. There was a long string of chicken junk stuck to the floor. I cleaned it up while I gagged and heaved. Then I nearly had - no, I did have - a mental and emotional breakdown as I imagined chicken germs all over my house. Major issues, people.

Our pastor is in Israel right now, so Curtis preached the morning services. He taught on Romans 13:11-14 and helped us set our hearts on the Second Coming of Christ. It was such a blessing because I absolutely hate saying goodbye. I've been longing for Jesus and my heavenly home so much. I can't wait to be where I never have to say goodbye to a loved one again and where we will all be together with the One we have in common.

Sunday afternoon I went to a baby shower for one of my best friends Jennifer. (We met on the volleyball team in 9th grade.) She is having a baby girl in April. It's so exciting! And I have never seen her look more beautiful. We played a game at the shower in which we had to open up a diaper and guess what kind of candy bar had been melted inside by looking, touching, even tasting! It was outrageous. If I had been pregnant, I would have thrown up in the bathroom.

Sunday evening we had The Ultimate Date Night (read: The Last Date Night) with Janelle and Heath and Sunni and Xavier.

These are pictures from our first ever date night - childbirth class at Baylor Grapevine Hospital.

What embarrasses me most here is not my 8 or 9 month pregnant shape, but my horrible growing-out bangs.

Here we are going out with a bang at Kirby's Steak House. After two years of much hard work, we deserved to splurge! The whole night was so nice and so fun. The boys were in rare form and our cheeks hurt from laughing. (Actually, they were not in rare form. They are always like that.) I knew I would either laugh or cry that night and I was glad to have laughed. Our sweet babysitter wanted to bless us and absolutely would not let us pay her. Thank you, Rachael! What a sweet gift!

Strapping young men.

We closed the place down.

This is a reenactment of Nurse Nancy's effleurage demonstration. It's too bad you can't hear the sound effects.

Heath and Xavier forcing Curt into a group bear hug.

A reenactment of our belly shot from childbirth class.

Jackson went to MDO and I met Mel and little Brynne for lunch at The Grand Lux. Then I got a 1/2 lb. of English Breakfast Tea at Teavana, some new makeup from Estee Lauder (it's Gift Time at Macy's and I am obsessed with their bonus-size mascaras), and an outfit for a soon-to-be birthday girl at Baby Gap. Could this day have been any better?